FOR the second time this season, a Hartlepool United home game has been tarnished by allegations of racism.

While plenty of similarities exist with the distasteful encounter with Dover back in September, this time it felt different.

Against Dover, the perpetrators in the Town End were identified instantly. Against Ebbsfleet, there was no finger pointing, no arrests, no ejections. Just accusations.

Fleet wing-back Jermaine McGlashan made the referee aware of what he claimed to have heard, and spent time pointing towards a section of the Neale Cooper Stand, towards the Town End.

Goalkeeper Jordan Holmes also approached the referee, after he heard a comment from the Town End. It is understood the comment from the crowd was xenophobic relating to the introduction of visiting substitute Ayo Obileye.

The substitute was red carded after the final whistle, along with Pools boss Dave Challinor, after the pair squared up among a mass melee, which even involved Pools’ mascot H’Angus the Monkey.

“I don’t think you report something like that unless it happened,’’ said visiting boss Kevin Watson. “I’ve spoke to both players. Jordan immediately run over as it came from behind the goal. He can’t see or identify anyone.’’

Challinor said: “We will deal with it, put reports in and that’s as far as it goes. I can’t control those things, it’s bigger than what I am. I’m in charge of managing my dressing room.’’

Pools issued a statement while later asking for information and evidence from supporters: “It is important to state that, at this stage, these alleged incidents are unsubstantiated and will be subject to a full investigation.

“We will hide nothing in our thorough examination of the facts and will respond to any enquiries from any authorities.’’

Statements were taken and recorded after Saturday’s game from those involved, including the assistant referee on the Neale Cooper Stand and the visiting physio who was on the pitch at the time McGlashan claimed he was abused.

The club was praised by Kick It Out, the anti-racism body, for their reaction to and work since the Dover game.

Pools were fined £7,500 by the FA for events in September and £5,000 of that was suspended for 18 months.

On that day, one fan entered the field to get at the referee before being hauled back. On Saturday, another supporter left the terrace, this time to get at the opposition players while they were goading the crowd as tempers frayed from visiting players and supporters alike.

It is also understood a complaint is to be made to the club about the conduct of Obileye towards supporters in the club’s disabled enclosure.

Referee Aaron Jackson was a hapless observer while the game filtered away from Pools. The visitors were out to frustrate Pools and kill the game and were allowed to do it too easily and too frequently by the official.

After the goal, Jackson was unaware two visiting players were still inside the Pools half of the field as the game was about to restart, and he booked goalscorer Gozie Ugwu after being alerted to the striker dawdling back.

The game was a missed opportunity for Pools to make the top seven and instead they are a point and three places short of the top seven.

It was constantly disrupted by the visitor’s gamesmanship, while referee Jackson could have easily put a stop to it by doing more than frequently pointing to his watch.

The penalty came when Gime Toure and Josh Umerah came together in the area. “It certainly wasn’t a stonewaller,” said visiting boss Watson.

Pools did have three good second-half chances to score and put the opposition tactics in the bin, but each time keeper Holmes was in the right place.

For Challinor the game marked a first: “For me, over 500 games as a player and over 500 as a manager and it’s a first. I will look at what’s gone on. It’s handbags, I’ve tried to solve a problem with their players going over and antagonising a volatile situation.

“Does he think I’ve said something to him? There’s a coming together with no great action. The linesman says he sees something and the referee reacts to that.

“Have I done anything? No. Had their player done anything? No. I’m sure he will appeal and I will too.’’

Both sides will be charged with failing to control their players by the FA. 

The Fleet are facing a possible points deduction. The FA has previously warned them of the threat after being charged four times in 12 months with failing to control their players.

An FA commission stated that it was a club “with an absolutely appalling record for failing to control the behaviour of its players.”